Technical Coaching and Training for Pianists and Teachers
The point of developing a good piano technique is to stay healthy and to express the artistic interpretation of the music. But sometimes in the process of learning the piano, something goes wrong. Sometimes a passage or skill is unreliable, or it never works, and no amount of practice seems to help. Additional practice can lead to frustration, fatigue, tension, or even pain.
How I can help
I help pianists who are suffering from tension, fatigue and pain (in hands, shoulders, or back) by improving the way they sit, align, and move at the piano. This often brings relief and also improves sound and accuracy. (*see note at bottom)
I teach healthy students, musicians and teachers how to play with greater accuracy, ease, technical brilliance, and expression. My hope is to train teachers so they can help their students develop healthy habits from the start.
I train from the basics of how to sit or create a better hand position all way to advanced skills. Advanced skills that many pianists need help with include octaves, arpeggios, chords, leaps, trills, fast finger work, and difficult passages. Technical work also includes sound production, desired dynamics (playing loud without forcing or banging, and playing soft without ‘ghost’ notes), voicing, dealing with ‘weak’ fingers, and evenness.
Playing the piano should feel lovely! Pain and tension are symptoms that are telling you to change the way you play.
If something isn’t getting better, it has nothing to do with talent. It just means you need different technical ‘know how’ to make it work.
Nearly every technical issue and difficult passage has a solution. Fundamentally, we all have the same body design, with a few variations, such as hand size, that need to be respected. If someone has played something, it can be done—by using the correct alignment, balance, and motions.
I’m not here to judge anyone. I’m here to help the teacher or student at the level they want to receive help.
I celebrate even the smallest improvement in your playing. I know that changing one thing can have a huge impact in your physical awareness, freedom and ability. This can start the process of transformation.
I work using principles of alignment, balance, and natural shapes/movements. Each body part does the job it’s most suited for, and works in unity with the rest of the body.
There are physical techniques that are used in combination to make things easier to play. These include techniques like resting down on the keys, rebound, in/out movements, under and over shapes, rotation.
Each pianistic skill, like a leap, or an arpeggio, has a set of motions that make it work reliably and easily.
There are also mental ‘tools’ that make things easier to play, like how you group notes together in your mind.
If you want to know more about my background and my “why” of piano technique Read About Me
Brenda Kimball, M.Mus., NCTM
*I am not a medical professional, and I do not diagnose or ‘cure’ injury. However, what I can do is help you reduce pressure, and wear and tear, which may facilitate healing. Stop and consult a medical professional if pain persists or worsens.
Note: After 35 years of teaching students of all levels and abilities, I will no longer be teaching standard weekly lessons. I will be coaching by appointment only. Signups for available slots will be online, after you contact me (via this website).
I won’t be accepting beginners or students who need weekly lessons. However, you are welcome to come for technical help or coaching, and I ‘d really like that to be in coordination with your regular teacher. I encourage parents and teachers to observe and ask any questions they may have.
If you are looking for regular teacher, please visit utahmta.org or MTNA.org and click on Find a Teacher.